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The Colors of Us Hardcover – Picture Book, September 15, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 2,093 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2 Lena's mother is an artist, so she knows whereof she speaks when she insists that there are many different shades of brown. The two take a walk through their neighborhood by way of illustration, and the friends and relatives they meet along the way aptly reinforce Mom's contention. Their skin colors are compared to honey, peanut butter, pizza crust, ginger, peaches, chocolate, and more, conjuring up delicious and beautiful comparisons for every tint. Katz's pencil-and-gouache pictures joyously convey the range of human pigmentation. Positive and useful. Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Lena discovers that she and her friends and neighbors are all beautiful shades of brown. "I am the color of cinnamon. Mom says she could eat me up," says Lena. Then she sees everyone else in terms of delicious foods: Mom is the color of French toast. Lena's friend Sonia is the color of creamy peanut butter. Isabella is chocolate brown like the cupcakes they had for her birthday. Lena's best friend, Jo-Jin, is the color of honey. Katz wrote and illustrated the story in affirmation of her adopted Guatemalan daughter and her friends, and the diversity that surrounds them. The message is heavy, but it's made palatable by the loving words and the brightly colored, lively illustrations, which are a combination of collage, gouache, and colored pencil. The pictures of Lena and her friends and city neighbors celebrate the delicious colors of the individual people, all brown, and each one different. Hazel Rochman

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First edition (September 15, 1999)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0805058648
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0805058642
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 2 - 5 years, from customers
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 570L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.35 x 0.4 x 18.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 2,093 ratings

About the author

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Check out my newest book WIGGLE YOUR TOES! A Book to pull,fluff, and wiggle!

I have always been interested in folk art from around the world, Indian miniatures, Mexican ceramics, fabrics, Chagall, Matisse, children's art, and primitive painting, and I love to paint and experiment with pattern, texture, collage and color. The careers I've had--as a costume designer, a quilt maker, a fabric artist, and a graphic designer--have taken all these interests into account. Looking back, I can see that these passions and career choices have played a large part in influencing me to become a children's book author and illustrator.

But most importantly, it was after my husband and I adopted our daughter from Guatemala that I was inspired to do a children's book for her. My first book, Over the Moon, was the story of that magical experience of welcoming our daughter Lena into our lives. I painted, I drew, I collaged, and I wrote, and after working very hard... a beautiful book was born! Twenty-two books later, my daughter--now fourteen years old--still is an inspiration for me.

I am fascinated by babies and little kids. The simplest words and gestures can make them laugh. Sometimes standing in line at the supermarket and watching kids in grocery carts, my best ideas are born.

I am fascinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique.

When an idea pops into my head I ask these questions:

Will a child want to read this book?

Will a parent want to read this book with their child?

Will this book make a parent and child feel something?

Is there something visual here that will hold a child's interest?

Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book?

If the answer is yes, then I know I'm on the right track.

I am very lucky to get to do what I do. Everyday I go into my studio and have fun. Don't get me wrong, some days are very frustrating. Sometimes the colors are all wrong and the words don't sound right. But after I work at it for a while...and try to do it a different way...and think...and change the words or colors...and try some more...suddenly, there it is--a great page of writing, or a great illustration. And nothing is more satisfying than that.

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
2,093 global ratings

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Jaco
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
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Tova
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